Feb 10, 2021 3:49:40 PM

Start construction Joint Research Center is an important milestone for Zeeland

A Campus Zeeland project

Adri de Buck is the project leader for the development of the Joint Research Center Zeeland (JRCZ). The first pile for the construction will be drilled in early February 2021. JRCZ will be a high-quality research laboratory for students, researchers, companies and the government. It will be housed next to the current HZ location at Het Groene Woud in Middelburg.

“As a purebred Zeeland person, this project is close to my heart. My dot on the horizon is the realization of the Campus Zeeland ambitions, of which JRCZ is a part. I hope that students, lecturers and researchers will soon feel proud to be able to work there on three important global themes: water, energy and food. In other words, research areas that closely match Zeeland’s DNA.”

What is the Joint Research Center Zeeland?
In JRCZ, students, teachers and researchers from Scalda, HZ University of Applied Sciences (HZ) and University College Roosevelt (UCR) work together on issues that are relevant in delta areas such as Zeeland. They do this in innovative research laboratories. Government bodies, companies, institutions and social organizations participate in research activities in order to stimulate innovative and economic developments together with educational and research institutes. JRCZ connects knowledge institutions, research institutes and the regional business community.

What is the relationship with Campus Zeeland?
JRCZ is part of Campus Zeeland. Campus Zeeland was established on the advice of the Education Authority for Zeeland (OAZ) to strengthen higher and scientific education and research in the urban region of Middelburg-Vlissingen. Within Campus Zeeland, companies, knowledge and research institutions and government bodies join forces. This increases the innovative strength of Zeeland and ensures a future-proof economy in which young, well-trained professionals at university, higher vocational education and MBO level strengthen the business community.

What makes JRCZ so special?
JRCZ is unique in its kind, for several reasons. First of all, we look for integrated solutions within the themes of water, energy and food. What is also unique is that we use knowledge from the arts and social sciences. In this way we can achieve ground-breaking innovations. It is also unique that we work with four different laboratories. In addition to a laboratory for ecological research, there will be laboratories for engineering, chemistry and data science. Finally, noteworthy in this context is the collaboration between the various knowledge institutions and private parties. We are calling it ‘joint’ without reason.

What is the added value for Zeeland?
The added value for education and research is emphatically present. The research strengthens the province’s innovative capacity. Moreover, the region will attract more (international) students, who will also continue to study here for longer, now that not only bachelor’s programmes but also master’s programmes are available. This strengthens our labour market and the economy. The Zeeland delta area will become a showcase for other delta areas.

What is your role as the project manager?
In short: being versatile and comprehensive. My task is to ensure that the project is brought to completion the way we intend it. Consider, for example, the contents of the four laboratories. That is a huge technological challenge. Just think about finding the right equipment for the different types of research. In addition, my attention is focused on the building itself. The look & feel must be right, and there must be sufficient space to be able to work together optimally. I have been actively involved since 2019, but the first steps towards the realization of JRCZ were already taken in 2017 when the project application was made.

What is the current state of affairs?
Drilling the first pile is an important milestone. We are now really starting with the construction. The cooperation partners are closely involved. Regarding the construction, there is regular consultation with Rothuizen Architecten BouwMeesterPro, the contractor and the consultants. I also regularly inform the province. After all, it concerns the use of social money, so good accountability is a high priority for me.

Where can interested parties go?
We ensure that interested parties can follow the construction via a webcam. We will also communicate clearly on the developments and provide information about what we are achieving here. It is important that both young and older Zeeland people take note of this and that they know that we are giving an enormous boost to research and education in our province.

Joint Research Center Zeeland is a Campus Zeeland collaboration. HZ is the project leader for the new JCRZ building.

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